Over the Easter break I disappeared to the North for some well-deserved relaxing time with the Bearded One. While I was there I did the obligatory uni work, but also took the chance to catch up on my reading for fun. One of the books that has been on my Nook for some time is sci-fi classic Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (what a name!). It was awesome! I had no idea what to expect from it and was completely lost from start to finish. On returning home, I thought I would check out the recent movie. Big mistake.
Ender’s Game the book follows the character of Ender as he works his way through a futuristic military school, being trained in tactics, manoeuvres and attack formations. He works his way up through the ranks until, six years later, he is confronted with his final test – commanding an entire fleet. You follow him through the engineered ups and downs of his training as his seniors attempt to break his spirit to push him to his limits. You are gasping in horror at their treatment of him and cheering at his triumphs at the same time.
The film however… I don’t know where to start. Possibly with the fact it takes place over 28 days. That’s right, you heard me. Six years condensed into a single month. Right there is the single biggest problem with this movie. It just isn’t believable because at the end he doesn’t have the maturity, experience or relationships that make him the person he is. He is a twelve year-old boy with a bit of an attitude and a dash of spoilt-brat-syndrome.
The casting of Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff is a great choice, as are the other senior officers. Asa Butterworth does the best he can in the role of Ender and works well with the stilted script and mashed together storyline, but he will never match up to the book character.
I was extremely disappointed with the film. I don’t even think it really stands alone as a movie if you disregard the book. The idea that a twelve year old boy could command an entire fleet of starships with only one months training is ludicrous and asks the audience to suspend their disbelief that little bit too much. Unfortunately, one to go on my ‘never again’ movie list.